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ASU Art Museum Ceramics Research Center awarded major grant

December 10, 2010

EMPE, Ariz. – The ASU Art Museum Ceramics Research Center (CRC) recently was awarded a $190,000 grant to be used for the organization of an artist retrospective exhibition. Peter Held, curator of ceramics at the CRC, plans to organize the exhibition and publish a book about world-renowned contemporary ceramist Wayne Higby. This grant, provided by the Windgate Charitable Foundation, is significant as it provides comprehensive support for the project, a rarity in the contemporary crafts field.

“The ASU Art Museum Ceramics Research Center will be recognizing Wayne Higby’s extraordinary life’s work in the ceramic arts,” Held says. “The upcoming exhibition and publication will highlight his earlier raku-fired ceramics and later groundbreaking porcelain wall installations.”

The retrospective exhibition, which will include 60 works, surveys Higby’s work from the 1960s to the present, offering a full view of his stylistic development. It will be presented at the CRC in 2012 and then will begin a two-year national tour. Held is the editor for the planned color publication, which will include essays by scholars and writers Ezra Shales and Helen Williams Drutt English.

Higby has been a major influence on contemporary ceramic artists as well as being a highly influential writer and educator. He currently is a professor and the Robert C. Turner Chair of Ceramic Art at the New York State College of Ceramics, Alfred University, where he also has served as chair of the Division of Ceramic Art.

Higby is the recipient of both the Master of the Medium and the Distinguished Educator awards from the James Renwick Alliance and the Visionary Award from the Museum of Arts and Design, New York. Since 1991, he has traveled and taught extensively in the Peoples Republic of China. Higby is an honorary professor of art at Shanghai University and the Jingdezhen Ceramic Institute, and also a faculty member of the Central Academy of Fine Arts, Beijing. In 2004, he became the first foreign national to be an honorary citizen of Jingdezhen. His work is held in the permanent collections of numerous art museums around the world including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, and the Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo.

The Windgate Charitable Foundation grant is an example of the benefits a research university like ASU brings to the state. Research funding is legally restricted and cannot be used for instructional or other purposes.

The ASU Art Museum, named "the single most impressive venue for contemporary art in Arizona" by Art in America is part of the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts at Arizona State University. The museum is located on the southeast corner of Mill Avenue and 10th Street in Tempe and admission is free Hours are 11 a.m. – 8 p.m. on Tuesdays (during the academic year), 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday and closed on Sundays and Mondays. To learn more about the museum, call 480.965.2787 or visit

Media Contact:
Deborah Susser
ASU Art Museum